Toy Story 3 is an animated sequel that I think pretty much everyone is anticipating (if you’re not, you’re dead inside…). The first one is my personal favorite, but on a purely technical animation level, the second is superior. It’s really the only Pixar story that warranted a sequel, simply because the characters are so great – likable, funny, charming, iconic and re-watchable. Seeing them in more films can only be a good thing.

Rumors went around for a while about a possible Toy Story 3 until it was officially announced, and with a little bit over a year away from its release date, it seems like things are moving pretty fast.

In a recent interview with Empire, Tom Hanks gave an update on the status of Toy Story 3 – specifically on his involvement so far. Here’s what he had to say:

“I have been in and done three big complete recording sessions and will probably have at least one more to do, possibly in about eight months. Then eight months after that I’ll do a mop-up and have three more sessions after that. Those movies are beasts.”

Hanks went on to give some pretty surprising and pretty neat info on what he (as well as Tim Allen and John Ratzenberger) has seen of the film’s development so far – it’s more than you might think… way more:

“They did an interesting thing on this one. They did not send us a script. They showed us a complete story reel of the entire movie, with storyboards moving from one to the next, and the people up at Pixar recorded some voices with some music and sound effects. Tim Allen and John Ratzenberger and I went in a movie theater, watched the reel and said, ‘This is great, let’s get to work!'”

Wow.

I’ve never heard of storyboards being presented as film in itself: CGI animatics combined with visual effects, music and dialog. They didn’t see a script but rather got to sit down and watch the entire movie in animated storyboard format?

Oh those lucky, lucky Hollywood people!

So clearly the folks at Pixar have a firm grasp on what they want to do with Toy Story 3 (as I believe they do with every film). The guys over there are the absolute best at what they do, and for that to be possible and remain the case, they have to be on the ball before the rest of us even know there is a ball. For example, I believe when Ratatouille was still in development, they had already started working on WALL-E… that’s how prepared they are as a studio.

The first two Toy Story movies are a couple of the most well received (both critically and by movie goers) animated movies ever made. They both hold 100% scores on Rotten Tomatoes – and adding to that the fact that combined they have made almost $850 million worldwide made another movie being added to the series almost inevitable.

This was the concept that introduced us all to the wonders of Pixar’s animation, and I have no doubt the third film will just be another piece of animation excellence to add to the list.

What are your thoughts on them making a third movie? Should they leave well enough alone or add to the adventures of Woody and Buzz?

Toy Story 3 is currently scheduled for a June 18th, 2010 release.

Source: Empire